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HomeMusicYard Act: The place’s My Utopia? Album Overview

Yard Act: The place’s My Utopia? Album Overview

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Even once they take themselves extra critically, Yard Act are by no means self-serious. Even supposing it primarily focuses on the pitfalls of dwelling your “dream job”—hardly new territory for a breakout band’s second album, whether or not self-aware or not—The place’s My Utopia? manages sufficient real pop finesse and laugh-out-loud punchlines to maintain the cliché from grating. On the boisterous “We Make Hits,” Smith traces the band’s origin story, poking enjoyable at their willingness to promote out with an anthemic, hand-clapping refrain that joyfully appropriates the maximalism of indie sleaze. (And if it isn’t an precise hit, Smith hedges, “We have been being ironic.”) The extra downbeat, grunge-y “Petroleum” addresses an notorious 2023 incident by which Smith turned on his unreceptive crowd throughout a present on the UK seaside city of Bognor Regis. It is probably not probably the most sympathetic premise—profitable rock frontman belatedly feels unhealthy for slagging off his viewers—however the tune’s relentless groove and layers of Auto-Tuned vocals inform a bodily story of the nervousness of sustaining a public picture.

The place Smith is most compelling, although, is the place he turns his consideration to knottier topics that resist easy decision. On “Down by the Stream” he appears scathingly at his personal historical past as a childhood bully over a clattering hip-hop beat. Midway by way of, the tune breaks open right into a cavernous, beatless reflection on the cycle of abuse, bristling with confusion, anger, and remorse. The report’s apex is “Blackpool Illuminations,” Smith’s spoken-word story of a childhood harm sustained on the northern English seaside city’s annual seafront mild present. At over seven minutes lengthy, winding by way of jazz flute, taut funk bass, and cinematic strings, Smith’s existential magnum opus takes a whistlestop journey from his personal childhood to his new function as a guardian to his son.

“Are you making this up?” asks an incredulous therapist, additionally performed by Smith, towards the tip of the tune. “Er, a few of it, yeah, why?” he responds. Smith might have deserted his trench-coat persona in favor of a extra trustworthy self-portrait, however the line between the genuine self and the larger-than-life character stays provocatively fuzzy.

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Yard Act: The place’s My Utopia?

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